Environmental Protection

Boeing, SkyHook Finalize Configuration of VTOL Aircraft

Oil and gas, mining, and other operations conducted in remote regions all over the world are potential customers for the SkyHook Heavy Lift Vehicle, which has established its overall performance and layout, Boeing announced July 28.

The next major milestone for the VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aircraft, which will be able to carry 40 tons of cargo a distance of 200 miles without refueling, is Detailed Design in 2011.

The SkyHook HLV needs no runway because it takes off and lands vertically. "The SkyHook HLV technology is like nothing that has ever existed. We anticipate that the operational capability of this aircraft will allow SkyHook's customers to radically change the way they resupply and operate in remote regions, especially the north," said Rob Mayfield, director of Calgary-based SkyHook International Inc. "In the oil and gas industry, there are significant pressures on cost, speed, safety, and environmental impact, and the SkyHook HLV represents solutions to each of these challenges in various applications." Oil exploration and mining in the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, South America, Europe, and Africa are potential customers, the partners have said.

Boeing is designing and will build a production SkyHook HLV prototype at its Rotorcraft Systems facility in Ridley Park, Pa., with the first flight expected in 2014 after the aircraft is certified by Transport Canada and the FAA.

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